Six reasons to enter the Kahawai Paddling Champs

The inaugural Kahawai Paddling Championships takes place at Takapuna Beach on Saturday May 8. Here are six good reasons to enter the school-age paddling event.

Be part of history

We are excited to present the first Kahawai Paddling Championships are you should be as well. Designed to develop the next generation of paddlers the hope is the concept will evolve into an annual national schools competition, so please don’t have FOMO – be a part of history on May 8. Our hope is that this will be the first of many Kahawai events for school age paddlers in the future. 

Fun and exciting format

Combining elements of sprint kayaking with surf lifesaving, paddlers race around a buoyed course for a two to five-minute period of time. Heats of four to 12 paddlers will race from a start line, around one or more buoys and back to the finish line adjacent to the start. Every paddler will compete in several races as they progress from heats through to division finals.

“The competition will be a fast-paced and energetic,” explains race organiser Danika Mowlem. “Short, sharp races will start and finish on the beach around buoys and will be adjusted to suit the conditions. The length of the races means no-one will be left too far behind but skill will be rewarded.”

Open to all paddle types

The format of racing should hold a wide appeal, according to Danika, which it is hoped will attract paddlers from a range of different disciplines.

“It should be an opportunity to bring together sprint paddlers and surf lifesaving paddlers as well as ocean ski and multisport paddlers for one event,” she adds. “The new format will mean everyone will start from a level playing field.”

Develop your skills

The format adopted for the Kahawai Paddling Champs will be a step into the unknown for many but with that brings the opportunity to develop your paddling skills.

“Many sprint paddlers may be used to padding on rivers or lakes, so the beach environment and ocean conditions could present a new challenge,” explains Danika. “That combination of surf lifesaving and sprint paddling elements of the Kahawai racing will help develop explosive power and also the ability to navigate around buoy turns.” 

Equipment provided

All the paddle craft for the competition will be provided by the event organisers making it unnecessary for parents/kids to have to transport boats to the regatta.

“The boats are quite user-friendly, so all the entrants should be able to paddle,” adds Danika.

“The craft are designed to be on the ocean and are like a surf ski for a beginner. The boats are the same so no-one will have an advantage in terms of equipment.”

Great location

Takapuna Beach on Auckland’s North Shore is a stunning spot and a great way to spend a day or even a weekend.

“Takapuna is the heart of Auckland with easy access to the Waitemata Harbour under the shadow of Rangitoto. The area with its restaurants and cafes has a real holiday vibe and is not one to be missed.”

***Participants will be separated into U12, U14, U16 and U18 age divisions – based on age at January 1 2021

Entry fees is $15, which can be paid at registration on race day.

Click here for details and online entry form. 

Entries close at 9pm on Monday May 3.

To find out more about the Kahawai format go here

Images: Georgia Schofield